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J Rheumatol. 1999 Jul;26(7):1452-7.

Cytomegalovirus seropositivity is associated with the expansion of CD4+CD28- and CD8+CD28- T cells in rheumatoid arthritis.

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Department of Medicine, University of Rochester, NY, USA.



Previous researchers have found expansion of CD4+CD28- T cells in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared to age matched controls, and have identified expanded clones of autoreactive cells within this population. We examine the association of prior cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection (positive serum anti-CMV IgG) with the percentage of CD4+CD28- T cells and CD8+CD28- T cells in patients with RA.


A total of 45 patients (36 women, 9 men), mean age of 59 years, with definite RA were studied.


In this group 28 patients were seropositive for CMV and 17 seronegative. Seropositive and seronegative subjects did not differ significantly in age, sex, medication use, or severity of disease. Joint count, Health Assessment Questionnaire, pain score, patient global assessment, physician global assessment, and presence of extraarticular disease served to assess disease severity. Expression of CD4/CD28/CD57 and CD8/CD28/CD57 on lymphocytes was determined by 3 color flow cytometry. (CD28 and CD57 are reciprocally related.) CD4+CD28-CD57+ T cells were expanded only in CMV seropositive patients.


The "carrier" phenotype that has been hypothesized based on a 2 population model for the distribution of CD4+CD28- T cells in RA can be explained by prior infection with CMV.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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